Saturday, February 25, 2012


I can't find the words today.  I've been to two visitations this week, my sister-in-law lost her step-dad, and a childhood friend lost her husband.  A childhood friend of Catman's also passed away, but we couldn't make it to his visitation.  I just can't express myself well when it comes to death.  I have written and deleted so many words tonight,  I just can't find the right ones other than,  I love you Terri,  I love you Nancy, and I'm so very sorry .........

I did walk this afternoon......

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bonus Monday

                 Leftover picture from yesterday.  Saw this feather hanging on a little bit of brush.  

No walk today as I have some major knitting to do.  A new design is in the works.  I'm sending one pattern, and hopefully this one to a publisher and they have to be there by April 1st.  Have to send the knitted objects, not just pattern and pictures, so I need to get to it! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spring Fever

Officially, it won't be spring for a little over four weeks yet, but who is going to believe the calendar when it's 43 degrees out?  This dog was jumping for joy!  Well actually, jumping for his toy,  but joyfully so. 

There were people and dogs and kids everywhere, including out on the ice.   They have put up the "Caution, Ice Not Safe" signs, but people were obviously ignoring them.  

There were quite a few ice fishermen out again, and a lot had little kids with them.  This group was making use of the diving docks that are anchored off shore. 

There were a lot of dog walkers out there too, and a guy on a bike.  I wonder if he's the same one I saw biking on Minnehaha Creek last month? 

These two where really cruising.  It looks like fun, but I have a feeling I'd do a face plant if I tried it.   

There is good reason to stay off the ice though - IT'S MELTING!!!   There are puddles everywhere, and there's actually open water along the shoreline in quite a few spots. 
I noticed this plaque today.  I missed it before.  It's on a bench at the top of the hill on the point.  I went to school with a guy that had this last name - from about 4th grade on, and I'm guessing this is for his dad. We haven't seen our classmate for many years.  A few of us tried tracking him down when we had a party to celebrate our class turning 50.  Haven't seen him at any class reunions either.  Hope you're okay R.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Spring is definitely in the air, and I don't mean just the bright sunshine and warmer weather.  I heard spring today.   

I've noticed on my walks this winter that I really wasn't hearing anything.  Yes, the planes were still taking off and landing, and the traffic was still heavy on Cedar Avenue, but both those sounds are just background noises.  It's something that I'm so used to, that I hardly notice them.   But what I really noticed was that the birds were missing.  I'd hear the occasional crow, but where were the others?  There are a lot of songbirds that winter here, but I've been surprised at how quiet they've been, even with the very mild weather.  But this morning I noticed it, as soon as I opened the door to get the paper in,  I heard them!  Joyful bird noises.  I heard them all around the lake today as well.   Chickadees, sparrows, cardinals.  I heard a woodpecker too.

I spotted a pair of Cardinals hopping around in this tangle of scrub.  I couldn't catch the female, she blended in too well to focus on.

I heard lots of other sounds too.   The rustling of dried leaves still hanging on the trees.   Dog tags!  There were many more dogs taking their people for walks today.   A 10 month old lab threw her collar and rushed over to give me a sloppy kiss.  Good thing I'm not afraid of dogs!  I heard Feet!  Lots of joggers and runners out today, along with the walkers,  and they all sound different.  Some shuffle, barely bringing their feet off the ground, others thump, hard.  I heard the rustling of  nylon wind pants.   The panting of some, and the easy rhythmic breath of others.  One woman runner I barely heard.  She almost floated.  Her pace was very smooth and easy and quiet.   I heard squirrels chasing each other up and down and around tree trunks, their claws scraping the bark.   I heard a little girl excitedly yell "grandpa" as she saw her grandparents coming to join her family on their walk, while her little brother was running in the other direction yelling "puppy" and chasing a pug.  I heard wheels going round - bike wheels, stroller wheels, car wheels.   I thought I heard the trickle of water, but I think maybe that was just wishful thinking, but soon........

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


After work I headed down to the lake for a walk and some pictures.   I didn't get very far.  Walked the couple of blocks from home and started around the lake - turned on my camera to start taking photos and guess what?   No, this time my batteries were fine.  I forgot the stupid memory card.  Left it sitting in the computer port.  It was kind of windy and colder than I thought, so I turned around and came home.  Made a latte, started supper, checked my e-mail.    No walk, no pictures, no nothing............ but for your enjoyment

here is a sharp shinned hawk watching my birdfeeders a couple of summers ago.  It's all I have for today.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I've been busy this week, and haven't gone down to the lake since my night shots on Tuesday.   Sometimes you just have to go to the grocery store and the gas station, and all those other  fun day to day adventures.

I have had a busy, fun weekend however.   I went out to dinner with two of my longtime friends, Kathy & Vicki.  We never have a bad time when we get together!  Good food, good wine, GREAT friends!.   Saturday, more friends and more fun.   Seven of us from my knitting group went to the Minnesota History Center.  Their main exhibit is 1968.  It chronicles the entire year.  It was very interesting and entertaining, and contained a lot of flashbacks for those of us old enough to remember.  See it if you get a chance.   We went to lunch afterwards to a place near the cathedral called Fabulous Fern's.  Very good food.   I'd go there again.

Today Princess Kitty and I went to the Minnesota Zoo.   We walked the Northern Trek and saw the new grizzly & otter exhibits.   I took lots of pictures so I'm posting some of those today instead of lake pictures.

Beautiful animal deep in thought

This guy was huge!

I couldn't resist these paws!  Tiger was enjoying
a snooze in the sun.

This was the only prairie dog that was topside.  He may have
been on guard duty.

This leopard couldn't get any higher in it's enclosure.  He was
really focusing his attention on something, but we
weren't sure what.  A very beautiful animal!

There were quite a few camels out grazing.

Inside the tropics exhibit I saw this toothy dwarf croc.


Flamingos are my favorites!

This reminds me of a painting.

I love this little guy!

This lynx did not seem in the best of moods today.

So, that's the abbreviated version of our zoo tour today.  A nice diversion from the lake, though I'll be back there very soon!

Monday, February 6, 2012


I have decided that I am an artist.  Knitting is my art.  I work hard at it.  I'm pretty good at it.  I like knitting because it's forgiving.  You get do-overs.  I'm working on a sweater right now, and I want it to be just right or I won't be happy wearing it.  I've knit three sleeves already.  No, I only have two arms, though sometimes a third would be nice.  I wasn't sure about the size of the first sleeve, so I knit the second one a bit differently and then tried the sweater on.  The second  sleeve was better, so I ripped out the first and re- knit it to match the second.  I then decided that the bottom third of the body wasn't quite right, so I ripped that out too, and am re-knitting it.  You can't do that with sewing.  Once you cut out the fabric, well, that's what you have.  You could make things a little smaller, but you can't make it bigger.  With sculpting, once you chip off a piece of marble you can't glue it back on and try again.   Photography seems to be forgiving.  I'm not talking about those once in a lifetime shots with people or animals.  I'm talking landscape.  I can re-shoot the same tree or bench and get essentially the same picture.  The light will be a bit different, or the angle a little more to the left or right, but it's forgiving.  I get do-overs.  

I admit that I have not been working hard at my photography.  I see something I like, I point, I shoot.  This project is more about the moment, what I see at any given time, what pleases me.  I did work a bit to get the picture of that crow the other day.  And, I worked a bit today at a shot I wanted.

I walked around the lake this afternoon with  my friend Jody.  We've know each other since 4th grade, and spent a lot of time at the lake together when we were growing up.  Now we walk around it together when we can. 

We were busy catching up, so I only took a couple of pictures.  I did notice that puddles are forming everywhere.  I think we're in for an early spring.

This is where Minnehaha Creek enters Lake Nokomis.

The sun was really bright today.  This almost looks like a night shot, but it's not.

But this is!
I was doing dishes after supper and noticed the moon coming up.  I told Catman to get his shoes on 'cause he was driving me down to the lake so I could take some pictures.   We got down by the boat launch and I took two pictures and those damn batteries died,  again!   I have been carrying extra with me, just in case, but I didn't grab them tonight.  So, we drove home.  I got fresh batteries and we drove back.  Good thing we live close!   I figured the best place to take pictures would be from the Cedar Avenue bridge, but there's no place to stop there.  When we got on the bridge there were no cars behind us, so I bailed out and told Catman I'd meet him down by the boat launch.  I shot quite a few pictures from the bridge and then several through the trees on my way to our rendezvous.   There were only two worth keeping, that one, and this one........
I think they're pretty good for my first night shots.   And the best thing is, I'll get do-overs.  I know the fisherman probably won't be in this spot again, but the moon will be.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Not Much To Say

I go from one extreme to the other, just like the weather around here.   Today it's sunny but crisp.  The usual ice fisherpeople were out......... the sound of ice augers filled the air.

The snow is pretty well gone. There were a lot more walkers, runners and bikers out today.

These are the same birch I posted yesterday.  I like the blue sky of today, but I think they showed of their lovely white bark better with the gray background.

The ice is starting to shift off the point. 

Something red caught my eye.   A little clump of dogwood.

And then I noticed this lone cattail by the little beach.  I've never seen cattails around the lake before.

I was about halfway around then doubled back a bit.  Decided to walk up the hill to Nokomis Beach Coffee.  See if any of the "regulars" were around.  This is where my knitting group meets on Wednesdays.  Grabbed a latte and sat done for a few minutes to talk to Russ, but then decided that I really didn't want to, or need to talk to anyone this afternoon.  I excused myself and said I had to be on my way.  I thought about walking home through the neighborhood, but went back down to the lake instead and walked back the way I had come.   
I saw more cattails, closer to Derby Avenue where I usually start my walk.  I can't believe I haven't seen them before!    

It excites me that I'm seeing things in a different way, that I'm noticing more of my surroundings.  I actually look forward to my walks now, not as something I should do because I need the exercise, but something I want to do, just because!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Talk Too Much

I had a lovely walk this afternoon with a new friend, Jim.  We actually graduated together, but never knew each other in school.  I first met Jim and his girlfriend last summer when my friend Jody and I went to a car show at the Ford Plant.  Jim has a really cool, really old Ford that he was showing.   We've been Facebook friends since then.  There's a pretty big group of our classmates that check in regularly on FB, and it's been really fun to be in touch with everyone. Back to my walk.  Catman and I ran into Jim at the lake last week, and I found out he's a regular walker too. We tend to take our walks at about the same time, since we have similar work schedules, so we decided to meet up for a walk today.   We were so busy talking that before I knew it, we had circled the lake and I hadn't taken a single picture.  Fortunately, I just happen to have an extra shot from yesterday.  Trees, of course!

A few people are wondering about the "Cat" names I use for my family members.  I've used Catwoman for online identification for many years.  It's because we've always had cats, not because I think I'm a superhero.   On Ravelry, which is an extremely cool knitting and crochet community, we tend to call our family members by monikers that match up to our user names, so of course husband became Catman, daughter Princess Kitty, and son is Catboy.  And our cats? They get to use their real names, Cleocatra & Tiger.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sleep Walking

It was terribly foggy this morning, and the day remained gray.   After days of lovely blue sky, the change really affected me.  Many of my co-workers also complained of feeling blah today.  I've  also been thinking about my Mom a lot lately.  Her birthday is next week - she would have been 90.  That added to my funk.  I didn't really feel like going on my walk this afternoon, because of those same blah feelings, but I'm really glad I did.   It was a sad walk today, but very poignant.  I opened my eyes and saw some things that I hadn't noticed before. 

When I got down to the lake the first thing I noticed was a crow in the tree above me.  I love this shot.  It took a bit of patience to get it because he just wouldn't sit still for me.  It's kind of Poe-ish, what with the weather and my mood.

As I was moving around the tree, trying to get the shot, I noticed something gold in a small tree nearby. I found this.......
It's a tribute to a man name John, who passed away in 2010.  It says "gone, yet not forgotten."   I started looking around for other bands in the nearby trees, but I noticed this instead............

Of course I  looked at every bench I passed, and yes I found more.  I thought maybe I should save them for Memorial Day, but I think I was meant to see them today. 

I'm guessing Don was a regular lake walker.  I know I'll sit and rest on his bench now and then.

Were Walter & Geneva from the neighborhood?  Did I go to school with their children?

There was no plaque on this bench, and I'm guessing this was a recent loss.  Was this a favorite spot for this person to stop and sit?   I'll be keeping my eye on this particular bench to see if a plaque appears.

Rich's friends and family left some ribbons for him, and I'm pretty sure it was done recently.   I've taken several pictures in this area recently and really think I would have noticed them, but then again, I may have been walking around with my eyes closed.

I felt so bad when I saw Bonnie's bench.  I didn't know Bonnie, but I know she doesn't deserve this.  Unfortunately, they may have to replace the plaque.  I don't know if it can be cleaned. 

After a month into my project, I can see that I'm on the right track.  I'm seeing things I never would have noticed before.  And, I'm truely enjoying myself.